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Program seeks to strengthen married military couples

Married military couples in Louisiana live with stressors that civilian couples may not have to experience. Different deployments and duties can leave a married couple separated for weeks or months at a time, something that can make maintaining a relationship very hard. Due to this, military divorce has become a worry, but some programs have been created to address the issue of marriage dissolution in the military. One of these programs is called Strong Bonds and it has been around since 1999.

Individuals and couples are allowed to attend the events that seek to train and teach those that are hoping to improve on their ability to relate with their loved ones. In a recent run of a specific program targeting married individuals directly, more than 15 couples attended. The program, known as The Five Love Languages, allows couples to learn about each other, how happy they are, how they apologize, how to reconnect after time spent apart and how to refill their "love tanks." For many, the retreat is refreshing.

During the program, participants were educated on how different people use different ways to communicate, especially when it comes to affection and understanding. To better understand one another, individuals were instructed to determine how they spoke and how their partner spoke so a clearer line of understanding could be apparent.

Some of the attending couples had been married for as little as three weeks while others had been together for more than a decade. The program seeks to go above and beyond the length of a marriage to teach each and every participant information that may help their marriage last longer.

Strong Bonds has conducted more than 2,600 events with more than 160,000 participants, hoping to sustain some of the marriages that might otherwise end in divorce. According to statistics, half of marriages are eventually dissolved.

Source: DVIDS, "Couples learn new language, how to fill love tanks at retreat," Staff Sgt. Gregory Sanders, Aug. 27, 2012

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